Elections in Palestine postponed indefinitely

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Jerusalem, Nov.13 (ANI): Presidential and parliamentary polls in the Palestinian territories that were scheduled to be held in January 2010, have been postponed indefintely in view of the objections raised by the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza.

Electoral officials conceded on Thursday that no elections could take place till the Hamas was brought onboard.

"We planned to go to Gaza to figure out how we can conduct elections there. In the meantime, we received an answer from Hamas that we are not welcome in Gaza. It is clear we cannot hold an election in Gaza," The Telegraph quoted Hanna Nasser, the head of the Palestinian Election Commission, as saying.

Beyond creating a constitutional crisis, the announcement will shroud the future of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, in further confusion.

Earlier this month, he declared his intention not to seek a second term at the election, prompting international dismay at the prospect of losing a moderating voice seen as crucial to hopes for Middle East peace.

The postponement will give credence to arguments that Abbas has been playing a calculated game of bluff.

His decision to call a January election was seen by few as a realistic proposition, with observers suggesting it was instead designed to place pressure on Hamas to sign up to an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation accord with Fatah.

The Palestinian leader, a vital US ally, explained that his decision was prompted by ostensible Israeli intransigence and American backsliding on the emotive issue of Jewish settlement building in the West Bank. (ANI)

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